Growing up as a military brat we were always far away from home, but still celebrated the holidays as if we were on the island where my parents were born, Puerto Rico. This included traditions like parranda, where we would start in the wee hours of the night going house to house serenading friends with holiday songs accompanied by typical instruments of Puerto Rico. Once we arrived we would awaken the family that we were there to surprise by singing a song or two then head into their home for some food & drinks. After about 15-20 minutes they would join us in the parranda & move on to next unsuspecting friend. This would go on for hours until everyone had be visited with a little love & holiday cheer. These are some of my most fond memories of the holidays as a kid, & one thing that was always present around this time of year was coquito. Obviously as a child I didn't partake in the spiked version of this drink, but as an adult I certainly indulge this time of year. It's like the smell of pine cones, or the taste of candy canes, sugar cookies, & hot cocoa. There's a bit of nostalgia & embracing of the holiday season when that coconut sweetness touches my lips, & not to mention that smooth kick from the rum. Make sure to savor & sip, don't drink too much of this very rich holiday drink. From my family to yours, happy holidays & enjoy this holiday tradition from la isla del encanto. Salud!
1 15 oz can (full fat) coconut milk1 14 ounce can cream of coconut (such as coco lopez – usually found near the cocktail mixers)1 12 oz can (full fat) evaporated milk2 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk2 tablespoons vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon cinnamon1 teaspoon cloves2 cups white Puerto Rican Rum (you can use more or less to taste)
Combine the coconut milk, cream of coconut, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla cloves, & cinnamon in a blender and blend to combine. Add the rum and blend again. Chill for at least 6 hours, or use ice. Pour into glasses, garnish with more cinnamon and serve.Leftovers will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.